Most of us don’t take social media security seriously. We create social media accounts but never look above the default settings. We use a computer, mobile devices, and other devices to access our preferred social media sites, considering they are established in the most secure way.
It’s true that default settings offer the most convenience and ease of use, but they are also the least secure. It is not a good concern to trust others for your personal and social security. Hence, you must take care of your social security concerns yourself. Luckily, in this post, we will tell you everything that you must practice to keep your social accounts secured.
What is Social Media Security?
Social media security is the procedure to analyze ever-changing social media data in order to seek protection against safety and business threats.
No matter to which industry you belong, there are a certain unique set of risks that may pose a threat to your social accounts. These attacks can be phishing attacks, fraudulent activities, scams, account hacking, and more. It’s true that social media accounts are powerful, but hackers worldwide practice intellectual strategies to use them for illegal activities.
So, if you own a social media account, then you must be concerned about social media security. Below we share some tips and best practices to stay safe across various social networks.
Social Media Security Tips:
Undoubtedly, your social media accounts must be containing lots of personal details. Your accounts may appear too small to attack by scammers, but even if there are limited use and less number of followers, your personal details are invaluable. Hence, you must practice these tips on a regular basis in order to maintain your social media security.
1. Manage Safety for Every Device
Safety is no more a single machine affair. You require a safety suite that protects all your devices, such as Mac, Windows PC, iPad, Android smartphone and others. Hence, install such a safety device before you start accessing your social account on that particular platform.
2. Create Unique and Different Passwords for Every Social Network:
This way, you have to remember various passwords as you have to create different passwords for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social platforms. But if you use a single password, it makes easier for hackers to target all your accounts at once. Just imagine how painful and threatening it would be.
Therefore, it is best to use one password for one platform or service. This will maintain your security to the maximum.
3. Keep a Close Check at Your Mailbox:
Phishers even today practice using the same old technique of sending a rogue link in an email or message. As soon as you click on that particular link, all your passwords are exposed to the person who has sent the email. Phishers are always searching out for those who are expecting to receive an email and will click on the link.
This is a conventional social engineering approach that has fooled lots of employees and professionals from different horizons. Hence, avoid clicking on any link that seems new or vague to you as this can be a more sophisticated technique of hacking.
4. Avoid Sharing Too Personal Information on Social Accounts:
A major concern social accounts pose to your safety is when attackers use information that they get from your social profiles. This includes your interests, education, birth date, and other sorts of information.
Also, they are easily able to know about your friends, family members, school’s name and they then use this information for illegal practices. Hence, you must keep your profile as private as possible and avoid sharing every single aspect of your life over it.
5. Add a Security Lock to Your Mobile Phone:
Not only the internet, but even your mobile can pose issues to your social security. Might be a stranger gets caught of it and if your phone does not have a security lock, it will give them easy access to all your important details.
They can target your friends and family members using your mobile, fetch your email address, and even change passwords to your social accounts. Make it difficult for the intruders and enable a passcode lock on your mobile.
6. Make Use of Block Button:
If a spammer is following you and sending you links, simply don’t ignore it. He might be doing the same to others. Therefore, you must always report that account as spam.
Doing this will notify the social networking service providers for the same and if enough people are taking the same action, it is best to remove the account. This way you will be able to hinder the efforts of spammers to some extent.
Social Media Security Awareness:
Social media users are so busy these days to build online relationships and see what is going on in and around the world. Most of them forget about online security threats, which can occur on their social platforms. With this into consideration, here we discuss some major cybersecurity issues on social media, which every user must be aware of.
1. Stolen Identity:
A social media account requires a password and username for login. This is what that makes users vulnerable to the phishing attacks, which is a fraudulent way performed to steal personal details.
Such attacks come in different ways and may offer something free or ask you to enter into a contest. As a result, users are led to fake pages where thieves steal their important details, particularly their identity.
2. Targeted Spam:
Lots of social networks offer their users the ability to gain automated access with the scripts. Such scripts can index the entire network for email addresses that in turn can be used for the spamming purpose. Moreover, such scripts can extract email addresses of the users along with their real names. This way, they are able to easily have a deeper perspective about the individual concerns, such as their special interests and hobbies, which they use to steal information from them.
3. Information Leaks:
Also called as doxing, this is a common threat on social media platforms. it is even one of the vicious forms of cybersecurity risks to date. Under this practice, the attackers leak some private details about a company or a person online, including their address, full name, phone number, pictures, and other details, such types of attacks usually make the target feel lost and vulnerable.
An important thing that you must know about is that malware can spread not through just download links and emails, but also through social platforms as well. In fact, social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter are used to spread viruses. Such cybersecurity threats are available in the form of shortened URLs. Such links make it difficult for users to identify whether pointing to a website is malicious or legitimate.
5. Home Invasion:
Most of the users these days use social media accounts to detail their travel plans. This gives burglars knowledge about when their home will be vacant.
While you are excited to plan your next trip, the criminals access your details through social accounts and use it to target you as a victim. This information includes where you live, for how long you will be vacating, and more.
Even if you have blocked your profile from others, your friends can still see through your photos and posts, which exposes you to potential security risks.
Social Media Security Policy:
It is impossible to estimate the harms of social media issues. However, it is best to define a social media policy for your organization. Here are the must-haves when delineating a social media policy.
Get Business / User Input:
You must visit the users to ask them how they intend to leverage this platform to promote business goals.
Establish a Code of Ethics:
Offering guidance on positive behavior expected from all the employees despite the channel. Employees must work ethically and does not practice any illegal activities.
Define Clear Engagement Rules:
Companies must practice an evaluation process in order to know when they must and must not engage in a public dialog.
It is of utmost importance to monitor how the employees use social media. Check the time they are spending, the sites they visit and fetch details about their followers or fans.
Companies must offer training to their employees regarding social media benefits and challenges. They must invest adequate time to remind users of their responsibilities.
Undertake Disciplinary Actions:
If it is necessary, then disciplinary actions must be reinforced. These must be implemented and set against employees.
Social Media Security Best Practices:
In order to address social media security issues, there are certain practices that you can adopt which will work in the best way.
1. Define a Social Media Policy for Official Use:
It is of utmost importance to establish a social media policy for your office and communicate the same across your entire organization. The policy can be outlined in the form of a document that outlines particularly how your company as a whole, as well as employees individually, must use social media accounts of any sort. This is important to establish a strong social media brand and offer guidelines for messaging across social networks.
2. Follow A Two-Step Authentication Process:
A common way to secure your login passwords for social accounts is using a two-step authentication process. This process can be used to verify the identity of a person before he gains access to your account, such as providing password details or using a code text on the accounts linked to the mobile device.
3. Alter the Social Media Account Passwords on a Monthly Basis:
You don’t have to strictly follow it, but you must randomize it and avoid repeating your passwords. Also, avoid using common points in your passwords like buzzwords, names, birthdays, anniversaries, and more.
4. Assign an Officer to Monitor Social Media Accounts:
Definitely, a system administrator has enough responsibility to look after social media concerns, but it is best if you assign an officer solely for that specific purpose.
The social media officer must check on the company’s social media accounts and ensure that everyone is following the safety best practices. The officer can also assist employees and educate them on various security issues. He must regularly test the various accounts in order to make sure that everything is working fine.
5. Keep a Check on Your Connections:
Followers or friends need to weed out the fake accounts. You must delete social connections, which appear fishy, regularly post negative content, repetitive content or content that is harmful.
6. Train Your Employees on Social Media Security Procedures and Awareness:
You must invest in this on a yearly basis. This is essential as humans are the most affected by online fraud. Hence, you must conduct a yearly program to impart training to your employees on social media security issues, procedures, and safety measures.
7. Establish a Process for Approval:
For all your social media posts and across all the social media account brands, you must set up an approval process to make sure that your every account is safe and secured from online attacks.
8. Use a Fully-Managed Service or a Security Software:
This is a great way to protect you from social media security threats. It is because using this service gives you an extra edge of defense against the phishing scams, hacking attempts, and other online concerns.
9. Avoid Listing Company Holidays on Social Accounts:
Posting this kind of information on social accounts would allow the public to gain knowledge of the same and know about vulnerable periods when you as well as your staff are not available to handle hacking attempts.
10. Check Privacy Settings for Social Media Accounts:
Some social media platforms change privacy settings every time they update their platform. Moreover, someone may change the privacy settings accidentally. Malware may even get a company account undetected from illegal or unauthorized use.
You can never get to know when the privacy or security setting may change. For this reason, it is essential to check these settings on a regular basis. If you find anything suspected or out of place, then get it verified soon. Otherwise, your company’s account may get hacked or compromised.
With increasing attacks through social media platforms, social media security is a subject of high concern. Hence, follow the above-mentioned tips and best practices in order to stay protected from these fraudulent activities.